Start Farming Blog
After a dry April, rain has crept into the forecast making conditions ideal for apple scab, fire blight, and cherry leaf spot. Other diseases to keep an eye for management are powdery mildew and bacterial spot. For those who had their stone fruit crop frozen out in April, disease management is still needed. Disease infection periods are being posted for regions in Pennsylvania and Maryland.
Strawberries are blooming, the rain is falling and it’s warming into the 60’s and 70’s—and as a plant pathologist, all I see is Botrytis spores dancing about the farm. We have already started to see Botrytis popping up on stem tissue and flower petals. Scouting for the pathogen in your fields will help inform you whether you need to spray.
We’re seeing root maggot problems this year, and some from infestations that probably started in when growing the transplants.
Insects, diseases and weeds aren't the only pests we encounter in greenhouses. Sometimes the damage we see to seeds, seedling and overwintering stock plants is caused by four-footed furry pests - rodents! This article discusses the two most common rodent pests of greenhouses, mice and voles, and how to control them.
This guide gives case studies of successful organic crop farmers in the Northeast, provides an introduction to the National Organic Program Standards, discusses maintaining organic integrity and how to budget for and market organic crops, and details organic farming practices.
Significant numbers of Black Cutworm moths have been trapped in some locations in PA. Alfalfa weevil and cereal leaf beetles populations need to be monitored in the upcoming weeks.
Spending some time going over your sprayer this spring can pay dividends. Worn or partially clogged nozzles will cause uneven spray distribution, which can lead to problems later this spring.
At this May 20th workshop, Participants will learn to identify major pollinators in tree fruit, including native bee species, and will be given an overview of Integrated Crop Pollination.
Spotted wing drosophila, or Drosophila suzukii, lays eggs in such valuable soft-skinned fruit as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, strawberries and cherries. The eggs develop into larvae, leaving the fruit unmarketable.
Following an unseasonably warm month of March, a pair of cold fronts brought cold temperatures across much of the eastern United States in early April 2016. The cold weather was stressful, both for the fruit grower and the flowers!
Cash flow statements are very useful – they may very well be the first place where a farmer will spot a trend in business performance that may benefit or harm the operation in the long run. Cash flow statements show the business’s liquidity, the ability to pay expenses as they come due.
Sorting through some of the differences between soil health tests can be challenging. Penn State offers a Soil Quality Assessment Worksheet that may be beneficial.
In a previous article, I had mentioned Closer (sulfoxaflor) insecticide as being registered for use on strawberries. It had been for a while, but last fall EPA issued a cancellation order for the product, after the federal Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals found that EPA improperly approved the registration.
Last month, we discussed new herbicides that have become available for use on berry crops in the last few years. In this article, we’ll cover changes with insecticides and miticides.
The allium leafminer (also known as the onion leafminer) has recently been detected and confirmed from infested leeks and onions in Lancaster County. This is the first confirmed infestation in the Western Hemisphere. Your assistance is needed for monitoring and controlling this new invasive species.
Agriculture Handbook 66 (AH-66) represents a complete revision and major expansion of the 1986 edition. It has been reorganized and now includes 17 Chapters and 138 Commodity Summaries written by nearly a hundred experts in 792 pages.
Before you pull out the subsoiler, take a shovel and check soil aggregation and porosity.
The recent winter-like conditions do not kill scab spores and the spores continue to further mature and release. If the weather forecast comes to fruition, an apple scab infection event is predicted for April 7. If your trees have green tissue, recommendations for dealing with scab while managing cold injury are discussed.
Penn State Extension has planned ten educational meetings for commercial tree fruit growers this spring, beginning April 14. It's time to choose your location!
The calendar still says March but it feels as though it is at least mid April. Be prepared to set out your sex pheromone traps earlier than normal, as they are the simplest tools to accurately establish biofix dates and to precisely monitor the trends in population development through the season. Warm temperatures resulted in increased activity of pear psylla adults, and pre-bloom application(s) of oil should slow down egg laying. San Jose scale nymphs become active when the sap begins to flow in the spring, and they should be controlled pre-bloom or during the first cover spray.